Friday, January 05, 2007

Mix-(Tape) '06

Happy New Year, hopefully it will be a great year for us all. I thought I'd do a sort of MixTape list for 2006. The songs aren't all from '06, so maybe you're thinking what's the point, well... In any event here are 20 top-shelf tracks that I just couldn't stop listening to this past year;

K'Naan - In the Beginning
The Stills - Destroyer
Belle and Sebastien - White Collar Boy
The Riverboat Gamblers - Don't Bury Me...I'm Not Dead Yet
Bruce Springsteen - I'm Goin' Down
Desmond Dekker - Keep a Cool Head
The Methadones- Mess We Make
Snow Patrol - Hands Open
The Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice
Greg Graffin - Don't Be Afraid To Run
Beyonce - Irreplaceable
The Hold Steady - Banging Camp
Lost Patrol - It's Alright
K-OS - Valhalla
Matisyahu - Time of Your Song
Camille - Ta Douleur
My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade
Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat
The Hellacopters - Go Easy Now
Surfjan Stevens - Decatur...

How'd I do?

Let me know what your MixTape '06 would look like...nothing wrong with some new music.


Isaac Cockburn
VP Student Issues

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Prediction

It's no secret...I enjoy the occasional wager. As of yet it has not been problematic, time will tell I suppose, however such a sin in moderation is theoretical sustainable. That being said I quite relished the recent Liberal leadership info-mercial, where young Bob Rae was vanquished. You see I predicted this and scored a beer off it (thank you Mr. Boyko). In fact I predicted (albeit meekly) as early as July that Stephane Dion would win. Now, this was based purely on the fact that Ignatieff and Rae were unacceptable choices strategically for the power-savvy Libs. Whatever, I didn't advertise it then so I shouldn't expect credit now...fair.

So in that vein I'm publicly making this prediction: THERE WILL BE NO ELECTION THIS SPRING. Surely this public declaration will lead to my exposure as prognostically inept, so be it. That being said, my rationale is two-fold;

1) This country is on the precipice of election fatigue. The sense of irritation at another election was palpable last time and will be even worse this time. The 'Dion Renewal' will not be enough to overcome this. The strategy bigwigs would be wise to not position themselves as the one's who forced a spring election should there be one. Especially if its the Libs that bring down the House. How easy it will be for Harper to say, "We're just trying to govern, the power-mad Liberals won't even give us a chance."

2) I think Harper and crew actually aren't scared of Dion. More to that point I think Dion's alledged 'under-estimation' by the public/media is valid (although all the analysis of Dion being under-estimated by people is really a double negative, so I actually don't think he's been under-estimated after all - except I suppose by me). I'm not so sure Dion was the best choice. And when rumours swirl that the Harperites are less scared of Dion then say Ignatieff, it rings true in my ears. So then why would Harper want to rush into another electorale forray where the eventual outcome would likely return him with another minority. If he's not scared of Dion wouldn't he want to wait until he thought he was in a position to take the big cake?

So here's a bold prediction, the next federal election will be in the early summer of 2008, as next fall is out - there's an Ontario provincial election, and nobody like winter elections...

But what do I know?

Isaac Cockburn
VP Student Issues

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guest Blogger: Ashley Hunkin, Womyn's Centre Programming Coordinator

CUSA creates a lot of posters each week, so might even say too many posters each week. We plaster the campus with brightly coloured posters in a mad dash to catch the eye of the average student, and gain their interest in our events or causes. The Service Centre’s are actively involved in this process, and the Womyn’s Centre is no exception.

Recently the Womyn’s Centre launched our “Is This Equality” poster campaign. The idea was simple… most people think that gender equality has been realised, but statistically the fight is far from over, therefore the Womyn’s Centre should share these statistics.

We started with one of the most important, and startling facts. As found by StatsCan in 2003, Canadian Women earn 63cents for every $1 Canadian Men earn. In less then a week someone had replied… literally… by writing their opinion on the poster. In response to the statistic the person had written that this was misleading because female doctors earn more then male tradespeople, and that its people in the trades who earn less money, not women.

Interesting… and frankly that’s kinda the point of this statistic. The statistic does not say that all female doctors earn almost 40 cents less then male doctors, it says that the average wage of Canadian women is 63% of the average wage of Canadian men. So if we have equal pay for equal work why is this so? Firstly its because of the type of careers women end up in. Women are predominantly found in the lower paying service sector of the economy. They are far less likely to hold executive positions then men, and are more likely to live below the poverty line.

So here’s my question. If we know that the average wage of Canadian women is 37% lower then that of men, why do you think this is? Why is it that in a society which values gender equality women as a group are earning such dramatically lower wages then men?

Also, what do you think would fix the problem?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hate Hurts Week was awesome... and I have the pictures to proove it

Hello again everyone!
Well, Hate Hurts Week was a huge success. There was lots of discussion, lots of sharing and lots of motivation for action that arose from the week. The posters, the tree and the events raised a lot of discussion and provoked many students to get more involved in thier campus community. But, hey, I know you just wanna see the pictures. Here goes:

Here's the fabulous "Tree of Respect". I think they're still kicking around the Unicentre Hallways but I'm doing what I can to get them to pass into Tree Heaven.

Here's a few of the leaves written by students. It was so amazing to see the honest testimonies or ideas that students were putting forth and volunteering. Whether it was cathartic or inspiring, the tree really got a lot of students talking.

Here's the whole slew of "Hate Huts Me" posters. They were so popular, but at first it was so hard to find people to volunteer for them! The week before, I spent hours trying to get people to volunteer to be on a poster around school and after a while, I managed to convince a few people. An hour after they went up, however, everyone wanted to be on one! Maybe we'll do another run some day...

Anyways, that's all for now. Keep posted for AIDS Awareness Week happenings!

Love, Katy

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Sens Are All Right

It's hard to be a sports fan in Ottawa. There's the tragic comedy that is the on-again/off-again Canadian football franchise, a wicked Triple-A baseball team noone watches, not to mention the legions of obnoxious Leaf fans. So its been a wonderful respite to have the mighty Ottawa Senators tear up the NHL (in the regular season) for the past decade. But this year, man, its just not going good. Redden's been hurt, Spezza thinks he's back in the OHL (enough with the drop passes!), Alfie's got the same disease Markus Naslund had last year, Fisher's got no finish, Gerber can't seem to find any glove oil (lets go trainers, seriously). But for all that, I'm hear to re-assure the skittish among you...the Sens will be just fine. More than anything this early adversity might be just what we need, a little less Harlem Globetrotters a little more elbow grease, worked for Edmonton last year. More than any other league the NHL rewards co-ordinated team work which is what makes it so good. And hey, I'd rather endure a trying regular season with a long playoff run, then the traditional Sens flame-out we've all grown so accustomed to. That being said...PICK IT UP SENS!

...go see Borat

...don't be afraid to like the new My Chemical Romance disc 'Welcome to the Black Parade' it's freaking sweet

Isaac Cockburn

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hate Hurts Week: it's not as lame as you think it is

So, this week is Hate Hurts Week in the Service Centres. It's not, as many people have tried to guess, a week long love-in or a end all solution to racism / homophobia / agism / etc. It is, however, an open forum in which we students can address and take action against issues of discrimination that arise on campus.

We're lucky that at Carleton there are not truly scary hate crimes or incidents of discrimination, however, just because we don't have those, dosen't mean that hate doesn't still happen on our campus. The Service Centres are hoping this week to bring awareness and discussion of how hate still happens and offer students a forum to change things up.

We're doing it in 3 main ways:

POSTER CAMPAIGN: Hate Hurts Me… check out the 7 different posters featuring Carleton students who have experienced hate in their lives. Interested? Intrigued? Come meet them at the table in the Atrium and share your story.

TREE OF RESPECT: Respect grows from knowledge so join us in the atrium to add to our art installation piece. We've made a Tree of Respect that will fill up throughout the week with students ideas on how to end discrimination and testimonies form thier lives. So drop by to add your own testimonies or ideas and also find out more about the CUSA Service Centres.

HATE HURTS WEEK FILM FEST: Come out and join us for 8 films that address issues of discrimination and hate. After each movie will be a brief discussions about the issues raised in the films, so join us for some great films and free popcorn. A full listing of the films are on all of the posters.

So that's the run down. I hope you come out, get involved and start thinking of how you view other students. Respect grows from knowledge, so ask questions and learn more.


Trick or Eat... yay!

I just thought I'd put this up here as a big thank you to all of the students who came out for Trick or Eat this year! We collected a tonne of food... literally! 1000lbs for the Ottawa Food Bank. Big thanks have to be given to Adrian Brett who orgainized all of the event: way to go.

For anyone else who wants to get involved in another creative food drive, contact the Food Centre at to help out for the holiday drive.

Plus, I also realized that putting this picture online would really piss of James Pratt. Huzzah!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday, Thursday... can't trust that day...

So, it’s Thursday again, which means another issue of the Charlatan. Today, I thought I’d offer my perspective on a couple points raised so that you can draw your own conclusions through balancing the information you gather.

1. Report versus Review: Okay, let’s start off with the basics. I wrote a report, not a review. As charged by CUSA council, my mandate over the past month has been to compose a report on the Hiring practices employed since the beginning of my term. I was to prepare this document so that council and students could review it when the document was made public. The Charlatan bashed me for not reviewing, just reporting. However, it would be irresponsible if I were the only one reviewing the practices? That’s why we made it a discussion item at council: so it could be reviewed.

2. Recomendations? The Charlatan seemed displeased that I didn’t make any recommendations within the report. Well, to be honest, I didn’t. That’s because I don’t believe that I should sit on making change when change needs to be made. I have been in office since March and I haven’t been sitting on my recommendations for changes in Hiring procedures, I’ve been putting them into action. I made motions in August to amend Bylaw IX to make the Hiring Board composition more accountable to students. I updated deliberation and interview practices of the board to increase consistency and transparency. I have been making these changes all spring and summer, so I’m sorry if I didn’t wait until I was called upon to do so. I’m the kind of person who fixes things as I see them, not wait until it’s politically apt to do so. I think it would have been irresponsible not to make changes as they needed to be made.

3. Past Procedure The Charlatan made a big issue out of the fact that there were no hiring procedures in the past. Well, they’re wrong about this. Firstly, if you see the Hiring Report, I did cite two other written reports on Hiring Practices. Secondly, they were not reported publicly because, quite frankly, no one asked. However, they have been the hiring practices that have been used for the past 7 years that this position has existed. I was more than happy, however, to expand on them as council charged me to do.

4. Self-glorifying? Please.The Charlatan also accused me of “patting [myself] on the back” and “self-glorifying” the report. Well, I take great offence to this. I take my charge from students. What they want me to do, I do. They wanted me to write this report, I did it and was pleased to do so. I did, however, mention that I was proud of and confident in every single one of the coordinators that we have working for CUSA Services. They do fantastic work and they work their tails off for Carleton students. If that is the “patting” on the back they want me to stop, I’m sorry, I’m not going to do that. We have the best staff in CUSA Services and I’m so glad to be able to work with them.

5. Committee? The Charlatan editorial also suggested that a hiring committee be struck to review the report. This, to me, seems a little redundant as the entire council reviewed the report at the last meeting. However, if any student or councillor wants to amend our hiring practices, they can do that any time throughout the year through our Constitution and Policy committee or council.

6. Womyn's Centre Collective Seat The Charlatan article also accused me of removing the seat of a Womyn’s Centre collective member from the hiring board the same year the board selected a non-collective member for a coordinator. Well, this is completely false. The seat was removed due to the preferential hiring treatment it caused in 2002, many years before I was at Carleton and quite before this non-collective member could have applied. This accusation is foolish and misleading.

But hey, this is just some point of clarification I wanted to make. It’s your right to make up your mind for yourself. I do want to say though that my door is always open. I really mean that. I usually only close my door when I go home at night. I’m literally always at school and I’m always willing to sit down and talk to students. Or, if you prefer, you can also e-mail or call me.

Please, though, don’t hide behind a paper to make criticism. If you are concerned about something, come talk to me. I’m here to represent you. If you want me to do something different, you need to let me know; I can’t change things I don’t know about. I’m really passionate about the work that I do in the service centres and I want you to get passionate about them to.

Thanks for reading, and visit me any time.


Read it for yourself:
CUSA VPSS Hiring Report
(look under my profile)